Tomoe is back in the free demo for Sekiro-like indie Bloodless

That was…slightly cheeky of me. The Tomoe you play in parry-ful action adventure Bloodless is not the same Tomoe that was conspicuously absent from undeniable influence Sekiro. They might be based on the same historical figure, but that’s simply Sek-ulation. However! You can make your mind up yourself for zero money, since Bloodless has a free demo on Steam. Trazzer below.

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Bloodless is pleasingly simple. Space to parry-dash is your only move, omnidirectional. Parry an opponent to defeat them. Take three hits and you’re toast, but you get three gulps of tea to restore one hit each. There are Soulsy fire checkpoints, and you can brew a fresh flask at each. The complexity comes in enemy attack patterns. Nimble kama-wielders throw a final, angled knife as they die, necessitating some funky timings just as you think you’re safe. Red attacks can’t be countered. I learned this when attacked by a clubman. If you see red, you should move – just like traffic lights idk I don’t drive – then follow-up when the club flashes white.

You also can slot in special items called crests. The first one I found was a sword hilt that made Tomoe drink her tea faster. Practical, if deeply troubling as a proponent of leisurely hot beverage breaks. After beating the clubmen, I also got a skill point. Now, a well-timed disarm gives me some stamina back, giving Tomoe more time to slurp tea. I’m a fan of these combat rhythms. It’s slower than both Sekiro and Disco Samurai, but also decently tricky and intense.

Here’s a complaint. It’s the same complaint I make whenever I see this exact nonsense, so it’d be silly to pick favourites. Developers. I beg you from the bottom of my schedule. If there are no enemies around, then running should not cost me stamina. I will not be elaborating. Just imagine you’re showing me a design doc that says “you lose stamina whenever you run, whether or not you’re in a position where running is a risk/reward proposition”. Now imagine I’m staring at it and just making a really loud fart noise. You’re explaining your reasons calmly but I just keep making the fart noise. I don’t want it. Please stop.

However reader, you should not stop being interested in Bloodless, because its slightly particular rhythms are nonetheless satisfyingly stirring, and the presentation is lovely. It’s published by 3D Realms, and out this August.

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